Cleveland Metroparks Adventure University 2019!

Blog Date
Stuart O. Smith, Jr.

Cleveland Metroparks Adventure University 2019!

I first learned about the Cleveland Metroparks (@CleveMetroparks - #TimeToExplore) Adventure University a year ago. It looked like somethng I would really enjoy, but we were dealing with a family emergency that kept me from attending the Spring of 2018. When I saw on Twitter that the third annual Cleveland Metroparks Adventure University & Gear Swap would be taking place at Baldwin Wallace University (@BaldwinWallace) on Saturday, March 23, 2019, I was doubly excited to attend. First, I saw that they had exciting organizations participating, and workshops planned in areas that greatly interested me. Secondly, my annual case of "Springer Fever" had set in, and I was ready to learn from presenters about my future adventures.

The term "Springer Fever" is the feeling backpackers get each spring to get out on the trail. The name comes from Springer Mountain, which is the southern terminus of the Appalachian and Benton MacKaye trails. Wikipedia has a great list of backpacking trails both in the United States and throughout the world that would fill many lifetimes of adventure:


It was great that, the evening before Adventure University, the Cleveland Metroparks shared Ohioan Emma "Grandma Gatewood" Gatewood's story by showing the movie: Trail Magic: The Grandma Gatewood Story



Emma Gatewood, better known as “Grandma Gatewood,” mother of 11 children and grandmother of 23, was 67 when she first hiked the Trail in 1955. In 1957, she completed her second thru-hike at age 69. In 1964, she became the first person to complete the A.T. three times when she finished a section-hike. She was famous for wearing only “Keds” tennis shoes and carrying a small knapsack.

"Ohio's Hiking Great-Grandmother," Emma Gatewood, was also a founding member of Ohio's Buckeye Trail Association -- our state's Buckeye Trail is the longest trail within any one state! She is also honored in the Appalachian Trail Museum Hall of Fame. I am a member of these organizations (ATC, BTA, AT Museum) that have honored Grandma Gatewood, and have always been interested in her story.

Also, "Grandma Gatewood is often cited as the first ultralight backpacker because she thru-hiked hiked the Appalachian Trail using a shower curtain as a shelter with only 12 pounds of gear." -- learn more in the Philip Werner/ (@PhilipWerner) article The Real Grandma Gatewood. The article is about Ben Montgomery’s (@gangrey) book Grandma Gatewood’s Walk. 


Here are my @sos_jr tweets and retweets with information I shared before the Adventure University & Gear Swap.

March 23, 2019 - Tweets from the Morning of Adventure University


March 23, 2019 - Attending Adventure University

Schedule for the Cleveland Metroparks Adventure University 2019
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I want to start by saying that I am looking forward to attending Adventure University again next year. The reason I start with talking about the future is that there were so many great workshops and organizations represented, that I did not even begin to see everything in which I was interested.

Here are some PDF files that will open up in a new window:

Since I..

...the workshops listed on the Adventure University schedule were of great interest to me. In addtion to the organizations that were represented of which I am a member, I was already familiar with most of the participating organizations and featured trails in the workshops I attended.


Outdoor Recreation - Cleveland Metroparks
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Workshops I attended with links to where you can learn more:


I spoke with representatives of these participating organizations (please see photos and more details in the tweets that follows):

The Cleveland Grotto is known (and has won national awards) for its efforts in cave conservation. The Cleveland Grotto is actively involved in on-going cave clean-up and conservation projects in West Virginia and in Kentucky.

I would recommend you go to the websites for the organizations I learned about at the event, and follow them on Twitter and other social media for current announcements.


Here are my @sos_jr tweets and retweets from the day:



After Adventure University

Here are my @sos_jr tweets and retweets from after Adventure University, where I share some of what I learned at the event. If you find the information in the tweets interesting or useful, please retweet to share with others. Thanks!


Related Blog Posts

There are 15 more blog posts that I have written about the Cleveland Metroparks that you can read here. Here are three that I recommend, since they relate directly to the adventure activities being promoted by the park:


Since REI Cleveland (@REI) was one of the Adventure University participants, I am listing my blog post about their kickoff event at Holden Arboretum (@HoldenArboretum) announcing the opening of their new store at Pinecrest (@VisitPinecrest) in Beachwood, Ohio (@BeachwoodOH):


Thank You!

Thank you, Cleveland Metroparks (@CleveMetroparks - #TimeToExplore), for making this great Adventure University & Gear Swap happen! I hope that it continues to be an annual event that encourages people in our community to be adventurous! Thank you also to Baldwin Wallace University (@BaldwinWallace) for the great venue.

It was great to again talk to Outdoor Recreation Manager Rachel Nagle and attend her John Muir Trail workshop. I first met her in 2017 at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History (@goCMNH) Think And Drink Winter Solstice, where she told me about the new Ottawa Overlook Backcountry Site, and other new outdoor adventure programs being planned. See photos and information in my Cleveland Metroparks Inaugural Trail Challenge! blog post. (Learn about some of the Think And Drink events I attended in my four Think & Drink blog posts.)

The parks' Adventure University workshops reminded me of a smaller version of the many years of good times I have had learning about backpacking adventures around the world by attending the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association (@ALDHAeast) Gathering weekend every year. It is great that the Cleveland Metroparks brings these types of workshops to our own backyard as a free event.